Breast Lift Incisions and Scars
All Breast Lift procedures involve the placement of incisions on the breasts through which the nipple and/or breast tissue are repositioned. In general, the incisions can be made using one of four different techniques, which will leave permanent scars in the following locations:
(1) Along the upper areolar border (Crescent Breast Lift)
(2) Around, or within, the entire areolar border (Peri-Areolar Breast Lift)
(3) A straight line from below the areola to the breast fold (Vertical Breast Lift)
(4) Within, or directly above, the breast fold (Standard Breast Lift)
In most patients, the scars will fade noticeably over time. The technique that is chosen for your surgery, and therefore the location of your scars, will depend on:
- Your existing breast anatomy
- Personal goals
- The amount of breast elevation (ptosis correction) needed
- The elasticity of your skin
- The amount of breast sag you are willing to accept versus the scarring you will receive
At the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute, Dr. Jugenburg is an expert at creating minimal Breast Lift scars that are barely visible. While a traditional Breast Lift procedure typically involves the placement of an invertedT-shaped scar (the Standard of Full-Anchor Breast Lift), Dr. Jugenburg’ssurgical expertise allow him to achieve optimal results bylimiting the incisionsto the areola, and if a significant lift is required, the addition of a small vertical incision only. The large incision usually placed within, or directly above, the breast fold (infra-mammary fold) is thereby completely avoided.
Crescent Breast Lift
- A Crescent Breast Lift procedure involves removing a crescent-shaped piece of skin directly above the upper areolar border and raising the breast tissue and/or nipple to a higher position.
- This creates a minor lift for women who have slight sagging of the breasts (breast ptosis) and leaves a scar around the upper areolar border.
- The color contrast between the dark areola skin and lighter breast skin provide an effective way to partially disguise the scar.
- A feeling of heavier breasts may result in patients who either have slight oval-shaped areolae or who do not wear a good, supportive bras post-operatively. This is due to the skin stretching and causing tension at the incision line.
Peri-Areolar Breast Lift
- The Peri-Areolar Breast Lift (also known as the Benelli or Donut Breast Lift) is a technique that repositions the nipple and minimizes the scarring by limiting it to the areola only.
- This procedure is the primary method used by Dr. Jugenburg for women whose breasts have very mild sagging (breast ptosis) and require only 1 – 2 cm of elevation.
- During the procedure a donut shaped piece of skin is removed from around the areola border. The areola/nipple complex and sur rounding breast tissue are repositioned upward and sutured in place, and the remaining skin is pulled upward and/or inward and sutu red to the areola.
- An Areola Reduction can be performed by making the inner incision within the areolar border.
- The resulting scar is partially disguised by the uneven surface of the areolar border and the color contrast between the dark areola and lighter breast skin.
- Additional skin can also be removed from above the areola (as in a Crescent Breast Lift) to create a further lifting effect for the breast tissue and/or nipple
Vertical Breast Lift
- A Vertical Breast Lift (also known as a Keyhole Breast Lift) elevates and reshapes the entire breast, and can therefore be considered a full Breast Lift.
- This is a more extensive procedure than a Peri-Areolar Breast Lift and is used by Dr. Jugenburg only in women whose sagging breasts (breast ptosis) require more than 2 cm of elevation (i.e., for moderate to severe ptosis).
- During the procedure a donut shaped piece of skin is removed following the Peri-Areolar method above, but with additional skin remo ved by also placing a straight incision directly from under the areola to the breast fold (infra-mammary fold). The areola/nipple com plex and surrounding breast tissue are repositioned upward and sutured in place, and the remaining skin is pulled upward and/or inward and sutured to the areola.
- Dr. Jugenburg’s advanced and meticulous wound closure techniques minimize the appearance of the vertical scar on the breast.
- Dr. Jugenburg performs a new and unique version of this technique, known as the Vertical Sling Breast Lift, which uses the chest muscle (pectoralis major) to support part of the breast tissue for an enhanced result.
Scarless Breast Lift
Some women seek out scarless breast lift because they wish to avoid scars which are the hallmark of a breast lift. Unfortunately, a true breast lift cannot be done with scars. However, in some instances, a woman looking for a breast lift only needs more volume in the upper part of her breast and in such situation a breast augmentation helps to reshape the breast and creates the illusion of a lift. This is a procedure that is appropriate only for a very limited number of patients as this is not a true lift.
Breast Lift Scars FAQs
The following questions and answers will give you an insight into the most common concerns regarding Breast Lift scars among pre-operative Breast Lift patients. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact us.
The Peri-Areolar technique is suitable for women who have minor sagging of the beasts (breast ptosis) and require less than 2 cm of elevation. In women with moderate to severe sagging of the breasts that require more than 2 cm of elevation, an additional vertical incision between the breast fold and areola will be required.
No. You should not submerge your breasts in any water until your incisions are completely healed (meaning, you have no open wounds or scabbing areas); this generally takes 2 – 3 weeks. It is advisable to wait for 1 month before using hot tubs because these typically harbor more bacteria than pools.
You will be able to take a shower a few days after surgery, but must make sure to thoroughly dry your wounds and dressings. In some cases, Dr. Jugenburg uses waterproof dressings; he will advise you if this is the case.
Until your wounds have properly healed after surgery, you should not run, jump or perform any other vigorous physical activity that will raise your blood pressure, make your breasts bounce, and/or potentially break open your wounds (this includes participating in sexual activities). You should also avoid lifting your arms above shoulder height, or perform any other movements, particularly sudden movements, that will stretch the skin around your wounds.
In addition to Dr. Jugenburg’s expertise at creating minimal scars, we offer the silicone-based skin gel Kelocote to any patient who requires it. Although vitamin E, Bio-Oil and other products are available over the counter, silicone creams and gels are the only substances shown to be effective in scientific studies. Kelocote is applied over a healing scar to promote the flattening of the scar and any discoloring to vanish, thereby minimizing the scarring process.
A combination of Steri-Strips applied directly after surgery, followed by silicone gels and sheets after suture removal, is likely the best approach to fight more prominent scarring. Should silicone treatments be necessary for your scars, during one of your post-operative follow-up visits at the clinic, we will provide the gel for you and advise you on its application.
Following surgery, Breast Lift scars are red and normally slightly raised, but over 3 – 6 months after surgery they usually fade and flatten out, becoming thin, barely visible lines. For incisions along the areolar border, the scars are usually partially disguised by the skin color contrast (between the dark areola and lighter breast skin) and the uneven surface of the areola.
Dr. Jugenburg uses advanced wound closure techniques and dissolvable deep sutures to support the repositioned skin and tissue on the breasts and minimize the risk of visible scar stretching. In some patients, permanent Gore-Tex sutures may also be used to provide long-term support. All patients are required to wear a surgical support bra at all times for 6 weeks after surgery, which will lessen tension on the incision lines and prevent scar stretching. Patients are also instructed to sleep on their backs during this time to avoid pressure on the breasts.
All scars are visible initially following surgery. Thereafter, some patients heal with virtually invisible scars, while others are more prone to prominent scarring. Past scarring from previous injuries and/or surgeries may be indicative of how prone an individual may be to visible scarring. This could influence Dr. Jugenburg's decision on how best to perform a Breast Lift procedure (or cosmetic breast surgery in general) in order to achieve an optimal balance between breast
elevation and scarring.